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Your Thoughts on Cannabis?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I've been thinking over the very recently announced statement that cannabis is being downgraded in the UK from a class c drug to sit alongside anabolic steriods and growth hormones in terms of perceived seriousness.

Penalties for dealing the drug however have been inceased from a maximum of 5 to a max of 10 years in prison.

Now I'm in 2 minds about this whole thing. Like most people I smoked weed at art school - but I didn't like it - it made me sick. It also had zero effect on me. Also, it is a proven to provide relief for MS sufferers. My friend's mother - with advanced MS is involved trials, and it really seems to be making a huge difference to her mobility and pain. And, weed, unlike booze does not create anger, and thus people are not confrontational and angry as they can be when they drink.

But on the other hand - I hate drug culture what it stands for and what it leads to, and I'm not sure it this is opening a huge can of worms in terms of creating a drug-tollerating society in the UK.

I'd be interested to hear everyone's thoughts. What are drug laws like in various states/countries around the world?
post #2 of 23
Yola, my family have had a VERY bad experience with this kind of thing. I DO understand that it is supposed to give relief with MS etc, however my uncle (this is a few years ago now) was going through a bad period in his life and sought "refuge" in the use of Cannabis, he had a violent allergic reaction to it, and it damaged his brain so much that he was slurring his speech and dribbling, he was not "all there" after this incident..... anyway he then continued to use it and moved onto other drugs.... the result of this?? He tried to kill himself 4 times, he was absolutely insane (streaking on a beach trying to walk on water claiming to be Jesus!!) he rigged up his house so that if anyone tried to get in through the front door, HE would be electrocuted (don't ask me how I have no idea) - the armed police called my Dad out twice to try to get him out of the house - he had to wear a body suit and sheild becasue his brother was so violent..... he also threatened to kill his Mother and repeatedly beat his wife (before she threw him out and got a restraining order against him) ...... Today, he is a completely retarded, brain damaged beyond belief... can't walk, can't talk, can't eat by himself.... he is in a mental home under constant care.
Now, I KNOW not everyone reacts to Cannabis like this (thank god) but what about the ones that do?? I know my Uncle also started to use other drugs.... but only AFTER he had already been brain damaged by the Cannabis......
so I guess, if people are willing to risk it.... fair enough, but as for me, no thanks.
post #3 of 23
Wow, Bod- I've never heard of a reaction such as that to weed! Thats pretty scary What a horrible thing for your family to have to go through

As for me, this is where I stand. I believed my whole life that cannabis was a horrible thing, that once you started you couldn't stop and that it damaged the brain. Well, in my adulthood I decided I shouldn't be knocking something I hadn't tried, so thats what I did. For me, personally the effect is very much like that of alcohol. Its something I do on occasion to relax and enjoy time with my friends. I am in no way a 'chronic'- I have friends who are and it completely controls them. I don't think cannabis is a 'gateway' drug, myself- None of the people I know who indulge have ever 'graduated' to anything more powerful. I think that if you use it in a controlled way, it can be the same as being a 'social drinker'.

As far as for medicinal purposes, why the heck not? Aren't most of our medicines derived from plants? If marijuana can ease someones suffering, who are we to make it illegal or difficult for them to get?

I guess my opinion probably isn't going to be the most popular one out there, but thats how i feel about the whole thing, in a nutshell. I'm curious to see where the rest of you stand on this controversial issue
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Crumbs - Bodlover - what a horror story.

I have to agree with you in the arguement of whether cannabis leads to use of hard drugs. Again, at art school I was living in a rough council estate in the West Midlands (that's where they put students in those days . . .) Anyway, there were a lot of junkies living round that area, and speaking to some of them, they'd ALL admitted they started off smoking dope.

Even a couple of acquantences at the time were beginning to move off dope and onto harder stuff.

I really don't know if it's worth it . . .
post #5 of 23
It was a nasty experience, and not nice to see how upset my Dad was (they still have a garage full of my uncles stuff at their house as there is nowhere for it to go and Dad doesn't want to throw it all away... )
As for the medicinal purposes, yes, if it does help people with their illnesses and they are willing to try it, go for it, its just the thought of it being out there so readily available that worries me I guess ...... after all not everyone is as responsible as they should be, but then that goes for alot of things!

I guess I'm just not sure about the "gateway" drug thing, I DO tend to think that people who have tried Cannabis are more likely to try other stuff..... but who knows, everyone is different.
post #6 of 23
My wife, Melissa, told me about this thread and I felt compelled to respond to the question. Some people, such as diabetics, who consume the wrong foods, slip into a state of unreality. Anyone that is diabetic has experienced this even in a very small degree. This has nothing to do with the substance, rather the consumer. Think of this for a moment, the government is working double time to convince the public to quit smoking because it is so harmful, same with crack, even alcohol. Wheres all the campaigns against Marijuana? Marijuana smokers are passive people that do not decide to take crack cuz they just smoked a joint. When someone decides to take a stronger drug, they would be easily talked into it when they are drunk, not stoned. Stoned people are very aware of how 'high' they are and for the majority, it is a self controlled level, not something to be influenced by peer pressure. Alcohol however, talks many people into many things that are totally out of character. If marijuana is to stay illegal, alcohol should be too. Our forefathers use to grow it Ben Franklin, George Washington, the bill of rights was influenced by pot. So does this mean its all hogwash since it was written by a stoner? No it means that regardless of the substance, condition etc. An individual is who he/she is, period.
post #7 of 23
Originally posted by JimmyJ
If marijuana is to stay illegal, alcohol should be too.
Uh, if I remember my history correctly, this was tried once. It was called Prohibition, and it was a huge disaster in the States. The amount of crime that was created was over the top. If Prohibition had worked, alcohol would probably still be illegal. Just because 2 harmful substances are legal (alcohol and tobacco), it deosn't mean we should repeat the mistake and legalize them all.

I would also be interested in your sources on stating that the Bill of Rights was influenced by pot.
post #8 of 23
hehehe there were a lot of inventors who were influenced by chemicals. Your quote is of einstien, read his history, like I said, some people, enhance an experience because of a substance. A long walk in the desert definately is better with water. A broken leg goes better with painkiller. If someone comes up with a good idea under the influence, it doesn't mean the substance spawned the idea, maybe the individual slowed down long enough to ponder. The same effect can be achieved walking through the woods, calm, serene etc. If an individuals choice on enjoyment does not hurt anyone or themselves, who has the right to judge it wrong, no-one. Yes anything in mass quantity is harmful, water can kill you if you ingest too much. Sitting around the house all day eating crap and watching the mesmerizing programmer is definately harmful. Balance is the key along with common sense. Everything in moderation by choice, not by influence makes sense to me.
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
It's an interesting debate eh?

I understand (flame me if I'm wrong - hey, chat lingo!!) that many science fiction writers wrote their best stuff while stoned. This may be good or bad dependent on your viewpoint, but it certainly generated some incredible stories which are now being put to excellent use making billions for Hollywood (??)

Having time to take 'time out' from the scarey pace of real life maybe enables creative thinkers to put things into perspective. Time to dwell and ponder on the real meaning of life.

As JimmyJ says - what's reality TV or chatshows but an opiate for the masses?

Sorry. Got my philosophical head on this avvy.
post #10 of 23
We will probably never be able to stop people from using any drug; they have to wise up on their own--just as I had to realize that cigarets were killing me. However, to sanction its use would be immoral. We can advise and hope that young people will be mature enough to make the right decision; if the law backs us up, better yet. We need all the reinforcement we can get.

As for MS and chemo patients, why not? We have been using heroin derivatives for years to ease pain. Now, we're allowing people to use botulism to erase wrinkles and calling it a cosmetic, for crying out loud.
post #11 of 23
I think downgrading the penalty can lead down a road I wouldn't want to follow. A few years ago, a friend of my fiance's was definitely addicted to weed. I know that is supposed to be impossible, but this guy lived for the stuff, and little else.

I am in favor of its use for medicinal purposes, under medical supervision.

I also think we should be able to grow hemp and use it for other things, as George Washington did. It is my understanding that he grew hemp, not marijuana. At that time, hemp could be used to make cloth, rope, paper, and I don't know what else. It's a useful plant, and we should make use of it.
post #12 of 23
I'm on the same side as Melissa and JimmyJ. Quite frankly, there has been (minimal since it is illegal to study it) evidence that marijuana is actually less harmful physically than alcohol or tobacco. As for prohibition - well, that little experiment didn't work. The prohibition of marijuana isn't working either, so why isn't that lifted as quickly as the prohibition of alcohol was?

The gateway drug theory is an interesting one, and I think one that was practically invented by the opponents. The people who move up to stronger, deadlier drugs are weak by nature. There are other issues there. I also think that dealers, expert salespeople who will try to talk you into a pricier more addictive product, are the gateway not marijuana. I know many, many people who have smoked pot and never had any inclination to graduate to anything harder.

Economically, legalizing it for social use could conceivably wipe out the deficit in a couple years. Legalizing hemp for production would really boost the economy, from the farmers to factory workers.

Medically, the possibilities are endless, especially considering that there really hasn't been much of any real research done on it.

(Not that I have an opinion about it or anything! )
post #13 of 23
Yes I inhaled. No I don't smoke crack.

Of the hundreds of people I have met who have smoked the weed, I think I know one who is addicted to heroin - he works and pays for his habit, he is only a criminal because he buys and uses heroin.

A friend's mother was dying of cancer - she got relief from her constant nausea by using canabis - but her daughter became a criminal because she was supplying her mother with an illegal substance.

Are the police not happy that they can focus on proper crime rather than taking up their and the courts time with possession charges?

Is there not more crime due to alcohol than canabis use? I've never seen any "smokers" getting into a fight at 11.30pm at pub kicking out time.

Is it not about choice? I choose not to eat meat. My sister chooses not to drink. My partner gets random drug tested at work - he chooses to stay employed in his industry.

What is all this rubbish about evil drugs dealers? I've never met any who have hung around school gates seeking to get kids addicted to crack. I have never been offered anything - it was always me doing the asking......

Great discussion topic Yola
post #14 of 23
In middle school there was this class you attended called DARE. In case you're not familar with it(I can't remember what the letters stand for, goes to show how effective it was hmm?) it's a program in school that most children go through that teaches them about drugs. Fine and dandy huh?

Well anyway this is where I learned about marijuana, coke, heroin, acid and mushrooms. They told you the effects of these drugs on the human brain, they told you about how marijuana is the gateway drug and how drugs turn you into criminals and you'll go to jail for a very long time. It was enough to scare a good little girl such as myself into thinking all drugs are bad and the people who do them are bad!

Imagine what happened when less than a month later as I was nosing around in my dad's room looking for something when I stumbled upon **gasp** rolling papers! This was one of the things that they talked about in DARE class so I knew what they were for. I was horrified! My dad was a criminal and pretty soon he was going to start doing coke and heroin!!

My parents were divorced at this time so I refused to see him until he quit because I did not want a criminal for a father. I wouldn't talk to him on the phone or go over to his house until he promised me he quit. It caused quite an uproar and I didn't see my father for a while(Not of his choice but mine).

It was so long ago I don't remember the outcome but I do know I had gotten over it once I realized that marijuana isn't the demon it's made out to be.

In my mid teens I'd always joke with my dad about him losing his memory(He really hasn't but it was fun to pick on him) and that one day he'd get caught. He'd tell me he smoked pot since he was 15 and if he hasn't gotten caught by now he never will. Needless to say he was pulled over for something and had an expired license. He was given a date that he was supposed to go to court but he forgot(Ok maybe he did lose a little memory) so the cops showed up on his doorstep with a warrent.

They arrested him(Can you believe I didn't see any of this because I was on the phone?) and as they did so they found a marijuana joint tucked behind his ear. My poor father was kept in jail for the night but criminally nothing happened. He did work for the school system as an over night janitor but he was made to resign afterwards.

I know this is starting to sound like an anti-marijuana story but it gets better. After he lost his job, he took a chance and he took out his retirement from the school system and started his own landscaping buisness. My dad has always had a green thumb so naturally his buisness took off and he's doing better than he ever thought he would have. So my father is running a sucessful buisness, pays his bills on time, keeps his yard up, finished(and still in some ways) raising a teenage girl and is a responsible member of the community... Oh and he still smokes pot.

You know if he had not been caught with marijuana he would still be pushing a broom up and down the hallways of the middle school, living pay check to pay check...

It's a personal choice and people who use the drug can function and can be productive members of society.
post #15 of 23
Originally posted by JimmyJ
hehehe there were a lot of inventors who were influenced by chemicals.
Like I said before, I am not disbelieving you, but I sure would like to see sources rather than listen to folktales.

I believe marijuana has a great deal to offer for medicinal purposes, but to legalize it for the general public's use would be to uncork the bottle and let the proverbial genie out of the lamp. When, down the road, negative effects are potentially discovered from a legal substance, then we, the public, are treated to even further rising medical costs to take care of the people made sick in some way? Then there are the potential lawsuits because the gov't. legalized a dangerous substance. Not to mention that here in the U.S. politics is already so influenced by powerful interest groups, like tobacco and the NRA. All we need is a powerful lobby like the Marijuana Association in there as well. I think things are better left as they stand.
post #16 of 23
Although I'm one of those who support legalization, for medicinal and industrial uses at the least, I don't think that we in the US have to actually worry much about it being legalized. It simply won't happen. If Clinton couldn't get it done (the one hope I had for his administration), then no one can.

P.S. Oh, and I can think of at least a couple authors that were very heavily influence by chemicals - F. Scott Fitzgerald and Edgar Allan Poe. Perhaps not pot, per se, but they are not considered classic authors.
post #17 of 23
I am 100% against the receational use of Cannabis. I did experiment with smoking it in high school like a lot of people do. I didn't care for it and I stopped using it after a short time. I also have a relative who smoked Cannabis with bad results. My relative started drinking and smoking pot while he was in boot camp. While he was still in the military and stationed in Vietnam, he started experimenting with very hard drugs and began losing touch with reality. Eventually, my relative was dishonorably discharged as a result of his drug use. He stopped using the hard drugs, but still continued to smoke pot. And even many years later, he was still having some problems with hallucations as a result of the hard drug use.

After his discharge, he became psychologically addicted to pot and stayed high almost continually. He was unable to hold down a job, committed crimes, and was divorced twice. His drug use has totally distroyed his life, a number of years ago, his ability to function got so poor he was declared mentally disabled and has received Social Security ever since.
post #18 of 23
Well, after all the doom-and-gloom stories about pot use I can't help but throw my two cents in.

I graduated summa cum laude from a major university, worked full-time while in school, and smoked pot at least 4 days a week for almost the entire time. I was never addicted in any way (as a historically chronic user I believe it is not possible) and feel it never once influenced my life negatively in any way.

It is like anything else, from alcohol to even food: there are people who can handle it with no problems. There are also those who will abuse it and ruin their lives. You've got to blame the person, not the substance.

The fact that tobacco, a proven killer, and alcohol, by far the most-abused and one of the most dangerous drugs in the United States, are legal and pot isn't is to me a perfect example of how government controls public opinion through the widespread use of propaganda. They simply do not tell the truth about marijuana.
post #19 of 23
All I can say is Molly is 100% correct in my opinion. I couldn't have said it better myself.
post #20 of 23

I just checked in and came acrossed this discussion. Most interesting. I agree with Molly. I'm 57 and grew up and was in college in the 60s so of course I tried pot several times. Lets see, it made me want to eat everything in sight, It made me too sleepy to do anything and I would wake up with the world's worst headache. It never got me high. So for me the pain had no gain. It also never made me want to try any other drug. I've never wanted to control anyone else but I've always wanted to be in control of myself. It goes without really saying that if one is taking drugs one is not in control the drugs are. There are a lot of people out there with addictive personalities. It can be food, sex, alcohol and drugs even a drug as simple as asprin. There can be mulitple addictions such as alcohol and drugs together and even those two plus others. I look at it - that a person makes the decision originally to indulge in the act or acts that trigger the addiction not the other way around. I had friends in college and in later years who smoked pot infrequently and some who smoked frequently. It never impacted their life in any way other than relaxation. I also had friends who went on to heavy duty drugs and either wound up in jail, dead or their life went to hell in a handbasket. But we all have choices. I've never heard of an instance where a drug of any kind pulled a weapon on a person and said "you have to take me". And I don't buy "I didn't have a choice". Having been in the human and social service field for most of my working career I've heard that line a million times. The truth is that the biggest percentage of addicted people have never had a clue how to cope with life and living. So they cop out. High, they don't have to deal with reality. They don't have to deal with the terrible damage they do to friends, family and total strangers who sometimes get killed to provide the funds for the addiction of choice. Do I have compassion for these people? To be honest, very little. I have been a foster parent and I have fur children. I have seen the horrendous damage done to these "innocent ones" by these kind of people. My compassion, love and help go to the innocent damaged ones. I know that the Lord tells us to love and lend a helping hand to our fellow man but I am a human being and I just do not have it my heart to feel for someone who has hurt or killed a small one who cannot fight back be it a human child or a furchild. It was originally that person's choice to begin the behavior. I have read enough psych evaluations in my life to be aware that these behaviors are supposedly caused by all kinds of triggers. But I've never read one or heard of any instance that led me to believe that there was no choice in the beginning. No I don't believe that pot or any other drug should be made legal because if a person is caught early and sent to jail or gotten help just maybe that person can turn him/herself around and will learn not to hurt small beings. I actually think thats a faint hope but a hope never the less. I do definately agree that pot or any other drug should be used for medical purposes. If it works, use it. Its pretty much been proven that people who have a disease that would benefit by pot or any other drug do not abuse their drugs. They are not looking for a high they are looking for relief from extreme pain or other horrendous symptoms. I believe that should be their right. I had a dear friend who passed away last year from bone cancer which is one of the most painful cancers. She would cry and at times scream from pain but she had an asshole doctor who was more concerned about her becoming addicted to the pain med than he was in the care and comfort of his patient. She was down to days, who cared about a nonprobable addiction. To his face I called him everything but a white man on several occasions. He was so self assured in his belief that she might become addicted to something and he wanted to save her from that. He couldn't save her life and he wouldn't stop her pain but he could save her from dying addicted. My God, what an awful joke. Well anyway this is the way I feel about the subject.
post #21 of 23
I am all for pot being used to treat people with MS and such, if it helps relieve any of their pain.

In high school, many years ago, I smoked pot quite a bit with my best friend. It just relaxed me, and made me hungry. I never did get addicted to it, and I have not touched the stuff in years!!!! But I don't think it is as bad as other drugs....not even in the same catagory.

The problem with pot these days...and the reason why I would be terrified to have my step-children even try it, although I did, is that back when I smoked it, it was the mid 80's, and people weren't adding stuff to it like they do if someone buys pot, you never know what else has been mixed with it, and I would never touch it now. I suppose it depends on where you get it.

Anyway, I don't feel like I was a terrible person for having tried it, and it didn't lead to other drugs, and I don't do it anymore, but I have a couple friends who do, and I don't think any less of them.
post #22 of 23
I'm with you. No you are not a terrible person for trying pot. As I stated in my looooong post I tried it in college. We tried it, did it but didn't NEED it. You made the choice/decision to try it and you made the choice/decision to not do it any more. You were not afraid to get on with living your life. You didn't need the pot or any other drug to deal with living. Like you, I also believe that pot is not the worst drug by any means. I hope that I got across in my post that its not the drug, its the individuals choice in taking the particular drug that does or does not begin the damage. You're absolutely right about pot being mixed with other things nowdays. A lot of the "street drugs" are mixed with other things and none of them good for you. As far as I know there was no Aids in the 60's either. Life is dangerous now. But life is also beautiful. A sunrise, a sunset, a new baby, a new fur baby, color, passion, gentleness, laughter, the wisdom and strength in an elder person's face; life is beautiful. It is also very short. We should live it to best and fullest of our ability.
Blessed be. Deecat
post #23 of 23
Very well said, Deecat!!
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